WASHINGTON, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) shared how it is addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) – the signature wounds of the global war on terror – during Washington Post Live's The Changing Face of American Veterans event.
"There is a crisis in mental health in America and a need for a national conversation about mental health and suicide prevention," said Lt. Col. (Ret.) Michael Richardson, WWP vice president of independence services and mental health. "According to the National Center for PTSD, nearly 500,000 service members have been diagnosed with PTSD. And of the warriors we serve, 78% report living with PTSD. Wounded Warrior Project is at the front of developing innovative approaches to improve mental health outcomes for veterans."
Since 2003, WWP has invested over $285 million in mental and brain health. WWP's largest single-program investment is our Warrior Care Network®, which leverages the collective commitment and expertise of four world-renowned academic medical centers to provide veterans outpatient therapy for free. Warrior Care Network partners include:
- the Veterans Program at Emory Healthcare,
- Home Base at Massachusetts General Hospital,
- Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, and
- Operation Mend at UCLA Health.
Warrior Care Network delivers more than 70 hours of clinical care to each veteran in 2- to 3-week programs. That is more clinical care than most outpatients would see in a year. It also provides a path to long-term wellness that will impact the way warriors are treated for generations to come.
A first-of-its-kind collaboration between WWP and the VA further expands the Warrior Care Network continuum of care, enabling successful discharge planning and continued care for veterans who complete the program.
Since its inception, Warrior Care Network has provided more than 100,000 hours of intensive outpatient therapy and holistic services to warriors.
"This unique veteran-centric approach increases access to treatment, improves outcomes, and fuels the establishment of new models of care," said Richardson. "We believe that mental health treatment works and that we will find the best results by embracing an integrated and comprehensive public health approach focused on resilience and prevention. It will take a combination of clinical, non-clinical, and peer-to-peer community-focused efforts to start making a meaningful impact on our collective pursuits. We need to prevent veteran suicide; normalize the conversation about seeking mental health care; and help veterans not just survive, but thrive in their communities by helping them create lives worth living."
Other speakers at the Washington Post Live event include Sen. Martha McSally; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Patricia Kime, associate editor at military.com; and Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Their discussion topics ranged from women in combat, to the access and quality of medical care for all veterans, to how toxic exposure is affecting this generation of veterans.
To watch the full event, visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-live. And to learn more about how WWP works with our nation's leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families, visit https://wwp.news/Newsroom.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project